IUNX L’Ether EdP by Olivia Giacobetti 2003


Val the Cookie Queen



I lived through my first radio broadcast, and was happy enough with it, despite the mistakes I made.


The technics lady who was teaching me left me alone for half of the show assuring me I could do it.  She sat outside where I could get her in if I needed.    Coordinating the music with the faders, and talking into a microphone took some concentration, but I did it.   What nearly killed me was a deadlift training session that morning that caused my hands to bleed.  Honestly, you would have thought that I would have learned by now.   As a reward for surviving everything, I ordered my next IUNX perfume.

IUNX L’Ether EdP by Olivia Giacobetti 2003

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IUNX Talc EdT by Olivia Giacobetti 2019.


Val the Cookie Queen



Remember I did that radio interview back in March?  I loved doing it so much that I asked the radio station powers-that-be if I could do my own show.  And they said sure, why not?  So here we are.  This coming Friday 7th June at 18:00 Central European Time will be my first broadcast.   I will have an hour at the controls, forcing my music on an unsuspecting public.  Well let’s be honest here, I will play the music and do the talking and there will be someone with me doing the technical stuff, theory being that I can learn as I go along.  After three or four shows I will be on my own.  First Friday of each month.  “Baking Bad with the Cookie Queen.”  I will share my SOTShow each time, without naming the perfume house because I am not allowed.  Talking of perfume I bought the 20ml travel size of IUNX Talc.



by Olivia Giacobetti 2019.

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Concrete by Comme des Garçons: Architecture + Perfume


Kate Apted


Welcome to APJ!

In researching the link between architecture and perfume, a lot is made of linking a smell with a place, or trying to recreate the scent of the inside of a building. I think it is too far a literal understanding of the two. I believe there is a more subtle joining that allows each their artistic and symbolic existence aside from the other, yet in mutual complimentarity.

Architecture + Perfume

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Hiris by Olivia Giacobetti for Hermès 1999


Post by Anne-Marie


Often on a Sunday afternoon after a busy weekend I wind down with a bath and a book. The fragrance for afterwards has to be gentle and subtle to keep me content for the evening, before a new week cranks up again. At the moment, Hermès Hiris is the perfect accompaniment to this ritual.

Hiris by Olivia Giacobetti for Hermès 1999

Hiris Hermes FRagranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, amber, iris, carnation
Heart: Iris, neroli, rose
Base: Honey, vanilla, cedar, almond tree

What works for me in Hiris is the contrast of cool and warm notes. Cool iris is dominant all the way through but is warmed and made easeful by spices (I love the coriander in the opening moments), and the subtlest touch of vanilla later on. (If there is honey in there I don’t perceive it unless it’s that touch of skin-alike sweetness in the base.) I don’t get the ‘carroty’ note in Hiris that other people notice. Earth certainly, but I smell no carrots. Hiris is dreamy and remote, but it likes you. Hiris wants to settle on your skin and stay there.

Hiris Hermes Iris_flowers WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Other iris fragrances vying for our attention on the department store shelves, such as Prada’s Infusion d’Iris and Chanel’s No 19 Poudré, combine iris with gigantic quantities of pillowy white musk, but Hiris retains a dewy clarity that has nothing to do with musk. Neither the Prada or the Chanel appeal to me. Initially I loved No 19 Poudré but the musk was just too … well … dull. And I have trouble smelling Infusion d’Iris.
What bothers me sometimes in Hiris is a kind of musty soapiness. ‘Clothes washed in unscented fabric softener’ is how Luca Turin describes it, and while I would not go that far, I do see what he means, unfortunately.

Hiris HermesPhoto Stolen Hermès

I’m fine with Hiris not being a statement fragrance. To my mind Hiris is Hermès’ contribution to the 90s style of uncomplicated fragrances that seek only to make us feel clean and smell good. Thankfully it’s not as dated as many others in this genre. If the sillage is only moderate, Hiris veils beautifully. People will sense rather than really know that there is a lovely fragrance nearby.

Hiris Hermes  Irises-Vincent_van_Gogh WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Although the soapiness prevents me from loving Hiris, I persevere. I wear it out, wear it at home, wear it to bed. Where I live it’s winter, so who knows? Maybe Hiris will work better in warmer weather. I spray generously. It’s the best way to get to know a fragrance. Luckily I picked up my bottle at very little cost via local online classifieds, and it’s got about 60mls left, so I don’t have to be frugal. Mine’s the deep blue bottle. I’ve not seen the new one; do comment if you have compared them.

Further reading: Non Blonde and Olfactoria’s Travels
Hiris can be found at Hermès online and all Hermès stores
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Do you have a favourite quiet fragrance for those in-between times, when you just want to smell good to yourself?
‘Til next time, keep spritzing!
Anne-Marie xx

En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle 2000


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance friends,

Do you ever get cravings for perfumes that you don’t have in your collection? This very thing happened to my last week. It’s actually very surprising as the scent in question was one of the very first perfumes to blow me away when I first started exploring niche scents and yet, after all these years, I still don’t have a bottle. Today, I’m talking to you about an oldie but a goodie – the fragrance I am going to discuss is the sublime En Passant.

En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle 2000

En Passant FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Lilac, surrounded by watery and green notes, cucumber and wheat

My reaction to the initial spritz of En Passant is one of feeling overwhelmed, but in a beautiful way. I’m enveloped in the distinctive yet delicate scent of masses of white lilacs. It is morning and their tiny petals are covered in tiny droplets of rain from an overnight shower. The rain has freshened the blooms, providing an ethereal aqueous quality. I don’t get the cucumber note that has bothered quite a few people with this scent. It’s just pure fresh and fresh lilac and quite linear, yet when the sun starts to peek over the blooms in the yard, you can just begin to smell the warmth of baking bread from a nearby kitchen window. Yet the yeasty aspect doesn’t overwhelm, it just provides a welcome temperateness to the green, watery quality of the lilac.

En Passant Frederic Malle lilac WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Even as I write, I’m conscious that my words don’t capture the loveliness of this scent. The perfume is an essence of time and place the story it tells is a very distinctive and emotional one. The best I can do is a series of adjectives: it’s diaphanous, it’s ephemeral, and it’s impressionistic and just plain beautiful. It is a story of lilacs, bread and spring What Giacobetti has done with these elements in perfume is akin to what Monet or Pissaro did with light and texture in painting.

En Passant is not powerful, its beauty is sotto voce and it’s a terribly personal scent as Portia has mentioned in her review. Despite its quietness, I still get a good 4 to 6 hours of wear; over this time, it just seems to waft gently from the skin like a breeze.

En Passant Frederic Malle White_Breeze guitarzar DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Because of its discreetness, En Passant is something you could wear almost anywhere. But I find it’s best when I’m craving beauty and solitude. Oh, and the promise of spring that sadly, just quite hasn’t made it to Melbourne yet. Better satisfy those cravings and just get a bottle of this beauty.

Mecca Cosmetica has 3x10ml/$124 in Australia
Frederic Malle has €110/50ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $6/ml

Have you tried En Passant? What perfumes have left you speechless?

Until next time,
M x

Fou d’Absinthe by Olivia Giacobetti for L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

Hello Fellow Fumies,

Recently there was a sale here in Sydney on the L’Artisan range, I grabbed a few for a great price. Fou d’Absinthe was a one spritz buy for me, the green on the box had already sealed its coming home to live status and I love the L’Artisan aesthetic, ease of wearability and quite like the short lifespan of most of their fragrances because it means I can wear more then one fragrance in a day and top up if my choice is to continue with the L’Artisan.

Fou d’Absinthe by L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Black currant, angelica, wormwood
Heart: Ginger, patchouli, pepper, nutmeg, star anise, cloves
Base: Balsam fir, incense, pine tree needles

Can I be perfectly honest, I’ve never tasted or smelled Absinthe. Never followed the green fairy and never wanted to.

On my skin the sweet green woodsy, non urinous opening is so enjoyable. By the name I was expecting a searing alcoholic rush to open like Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling or Lubin’s Gin Fizz, Olivia Giacobetti has created Fou d’Absinthe in a much more stately vein, a calmer, cooler and more elegant ride. Though you can tell the herbs and spices are there it’s all about the opening woods, black current is backing player for me but it rounds out the initial rush by sweetening but not in a modern department store sweet way but a subtle crisp sparkle over the top.

When the herbs and spices take center stage they are never free of woody undertones and I read them as a Bouquet Garni rather than their individual players. Some times I think, oh there’s pepper or that feels anise-ish but really the feeling is a blending, a composition of these accords to create a seamless whole.

'Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur Absinthe_Rosinette WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Later the composition skews pine/patchouli and this is my favourite part of the ride, it’s green and crackly, slightly earthy but also dusty and here is where I get a little of the booze I expected in the opening. Not in your face but a subtle growl of alcohol like you’ve just had a shot of something and that grrrrrr you make in the back of your throat at the dry, sharp whoosh that remains.

One of the things I like about Fou d’Absinthe is my own ability to dream that I am a part of the Moulin Rouge crew in Paris at a time when magic was happening. Fou d’Absinthe takes me into the  brilliant lives of the Parisian underworld towards the end of the 1800s which Baz Luhrmann so fabulously captured on film.

'Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur Playingwithbrushes' FlickrPhoto Stolen Playingwithbrushes’ Flickr

My personal life expectancy for Fou d’Absinthe is around 4 hours when the soft woodsy incense trails off into nothing. An absolutely unisex offering perfect for most occasions, sillage is soft and projection slow but insistent. Sit down for about a minute with your friends and they will start to notice how lovely you smell. Fou d’Absinthe is not a huge compliment getter but every now and then someone will say you smell good when you give them a hello peck or hug.

Further reading: Perfume Smellin’ Things and The Non-Blonde
Neroli Budapest has €96/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml

Have you tried Fou d’Absinthe? What were your thoughts?
We hope you have a great 24 hours till we see you tomorrow,
Portia xx


Tilleul by Olivia Giacobetti for D`Orsay 2008


Post by Ainslie Walker


Hiding in the back of my perfume shelf I found a fragrance I haven’t worn for years. TILLEUL D’Orsay. I’d forgotton how lovely it was. I originally bought it as it reminded me of honeysuckle, fresh freesias and lily of the valley combined, but in a way smelt far more natural and less sickly-toilet-sprayish than a fragrance with these ingredients would usually smell. (I find frags of these flowers often smell cheap and nasty)

On revisiting it I now realize its got plenty more to it and is put together incredibly well.

Tilleul by Olivia Giacobetti for D`Orsay 2008

Tilleul D`Orsay FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon blossom, angelica, watermelon
Heart: Cyclamen, linden blossom
Base: Acacia tree, bee wax, hay, black locust

Tilleul by D`Orsay is light and sparkles with a waxy floral, citrus-like, smell, especially straight from the bottle. Tileul is Linden blossom, mixed up with lemon blossom. It is fresh, pretty and bright. Summery to me.

Once sprayed, there’s gusts of watermelon, maybe slightly green, which surprisingly I am liking, considering I’m not a big one for fruity fragrances. The waxy undertones seem to be beeswax and I think this makes the whole combo tolerable, and not too sweet for me. The dryness, touching on powdery, could be hay , or grasses. I am still reminded of honeysuckle, but it’s almost like that smell has been re-constructed with the use of other flowers/ingredients, rather than containing any actual honeysuckle.

Tilleul by D`Orsay honeysuckle WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The other factor leading me away from thinking it’s honeysuckle is a floral, citrus green note. A muguet? Perhaps not lily of the valley, or freesia as first thought, but cyclamen, a flower I consider to be quite underated. So often the pots sit flowering in peoples homes and no one stoops to smell them. Such a pretty scent, but so so faint, usually. Not here. Here it is amplified and enhanced by its co-ingredients.

If you like mimosa/acacia/floral green fragrances like L’Occitane Eau d’azur – this will be a hit for you – but far more natural and not as heavy on synthetics like calone, which gives me a nasty headache. This is a well balanced scent.

Tilleul by D`Orsay was first created in 1915, so there is definitely a beautiful vintage feel to the scent, and combination of ingredients is very “of that era”. Very French. In 2008 it was reformulated by Olivia Giacobetti, which might be why also I am getting a good whiff of freesia perhaps, as she was the nose behind Ofresia for Diptyche. (which is also very nice, but VERY VERY SWEET…and seems to get sweeter in the bottle over time). I love so many of her mixes, and seem to building a little collection/shrine to her over time.

Tilleul D`Orsay The_Quarrel_of_Oberon_and_Titania WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It’s a fresh green floral. It’s summer. Tilleul by D`Orsay is green watermelon!!!! Too much would be a bit sickly for me, but today- a hot 32 degrees in Byron Bay, a light spritz and I am off to the beach DEFINITELY smelling better than those in my way!! (someone should open a perfume shop up here!!)

Further reading: Confessions Of A Perfume Nerd and Now Smell This
Parfum1 has $75/50ml
The Posh Peasant starts at $3.50/ml

have you revisited the back of your cupboard lately- found anything you like?? Tell me more!!

Ainslie Walker